Over the last few days, I’ve looked back at the Die Hard franchise, and tried to explain what makes these films unique. The obvious answer is John McClane (Bruce Willis). Willis helped to craft a memorable character who was the wise-cracking, scrappy, desperate hero we can all root for. But it’s not simply an attitude. Die Hard is a matter of circumstance and response, and the two best films—Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance—back McClane into a corner and force him to rely on his wits and strength to survive. He gets the shit kicked out of him, swears constantly, but laughs in the face of near death. John McClane’s personality lives in A Good Day to Die Hard. Everything else dies horribly.